IF YOU DO NOT LOVE HIM YOU CAN’T PLAY HIM WELL
"If you do not love him you can’t play him well,"
said Maurizio Pollini, just talking about
the playing of Chopin, but if you should doubt
that you love your lovemaking will not cast a spell
on your lover, for though you may have great technique,
he will sense in your lovemaking your fatal flaw:
though you think you are playing him well, he will seek
and not find in you what you lack, esprit de corps.
In a recording of an old interview with Maurizio Pollini broadcast by Dennis Bartel the pianist stated: “If you do not love Chopin well you
can’t play him well.”
I recalled this poem when Dennis Bartel broadcast a performance by Maurizio Pollini of Chopin's Polonaise "Military" in A Op 40/1 on 1/5/17. Maurizio's 75th birthday. Dennis pointed out that Arthur Rubinstein once said of him "That boy can play the piano better than any of us." In an interview that Dennis broadcast, Maurizio said that while he loved Chopin's music, he did not want to be regarded as a specialist in any composer. Rubinstein would probably have felt the same, although he was widely regarded as a Chopin specialist.